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... and then there were three.

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  • ... and then there were three.

    I'm doing some pedalboard re-arranging. Bill Rupert demo-videoed me into replacing my DD-3 and Ana Echo with a single Grand Canyon. I'm also switching to a Mini Pitchblack. All told, I've freed up enough space to fit one more dirt pedal on the board. Trouble is, I have four pedals I like, and room for three.

    The pedals that made the short list are (from clean to dirty):
    1. DIY Stratoblaster (bright clean boost)
    2. Xotic BB Preamp
    3. DIY LM308 Rat
    4. DIY Triangle Muff

    The BB Preamp is non-negotiable, it's my main overdrive sound and the best OD I've ever played (YMMV). So, I have to decide on two of the remaining three. I think there's some overlap no matter what I choose. For example, I could get much the same effect as the Stratoblaster by simply turning my amp (Marshall 18 Watter clone) up and working my guitar volume more. I can also get the BB Preamp to do the clean-boost thing, though I usually run it with the gain and boost knobs up midway.

    At lower gain settings, the Rat kinda does the BB's thing; tube-y overdrive (though the BB is less compressed and way better at it to my ear). I've been running just the BB and the Rat for a while now, and tend to use the Rat at higher-gain settings, but at really high gain settings, the Rat gets splatty and almost fuzz-like (Please, nobody tell TGWIF I said that.). At that point, it's getting into the Big Muff's extreme dirt territory (but without the mid scoop and huge bottom).

    I'm mostly an old '80s new wave guy, so the BB has been good enough for me for a long time. OTOH, I have belatedly gotten into some later post-grunge bands (RHCP, Sound Garden) and most recently Wolf Alice, all of whom regularly make me think, "Sometimes you just gotta have a Big Muff."

    Which ones would you put on the board? Why?
    Last edited by Rich_S; 12-02-2018, 08:09 PM.
    Tra-la-laa, lala-la-laa!
    Rich Stevens


    "I am using you; am I amusing you?" - Martha Johnson, What People Do For Fun

  • #2
    Re: ... and then there were three.

    Why? Just like you said, "sometimes you just gotta have a Big Muff". Secksual innuendo aside, I'd use the DIY Triangle Muff. ODs can pretend to be fuzz pedals, but not that well.

    Your secret is safe with me. I lost Christian's number in a phone that crashed.
    I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

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    • #3
      Re: ... and then there were three.

      That title, "And Then There Were Three" brings back some bitter sweet memories. This brings to mind the image of the last album made by Genesis before Phil Collins changed the Direction and of the band. Forgive me as this is a bit off topic, yet it perfectly fits with the title.
      Attached Files
      That is not dead which can eternal lie,
      And with strange aeons even death may die.

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      • #4
        Re: ... and then there were three.

        Genesis' album title was not lost on me when I started the thread.
        Tra-la-laa, lala-la-laa!
        Rich Stevens


        "I am using you; am I amusing you?" - Martha Johnson, What People Do For Fun

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        • #5
          Re: ... and then there were three.

          I think I would ditch the Stratoblaster if you can just turn the amp volume a bit louder. The remaining three can give you all the other shades of overdrive, distortion and fuzz.

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          • #6
            Re: ... and then there were three.

            FYI, I am a big fan of the Genesis album, too. That Grand Canyon looks like an amazing pedal. I'd love to try one out. I'd ditch the Rat.
            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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            • #7
              Re: ... and then there were three.

              I got an evening to myself over the weekend to crank it up and try the various dirt pedals. I went into it leaning toward a lineup of Muff->Rat->BB but came away really liking Stratoblaster->Rat->BB. I would have thought the clean boost should go last, but using it drive the living crap out of the Rat hard makes a great out-of-control sound that rivals the Big Muff for sheer chaos. The Stratoblaster by itself sounds great into my 18 Watter for twangy stuff; I like it better than the BB with the gain turned down (and less knob-twiddling).

              I haven't even had a chance to plug the Grand Canyon in. Total leap of faith: I'm rebuilding my board, two delays off, Grand Canyon on, and I'm just going to learn how to use it to the best of its abilities. Get to know it, master everything it can do, and live without whatever it can't. I have an old Cry Baby shell that I'll use as an expression pedal. That should be interesting.
              Tra-la-laa, lala-la-laa!
              Rich Stevens


              "I am using you; am I amusing you?" - Martha Johnson, What People Do For Fun

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              • #8
                Re: ... and then there were three.

                Final answer: I'm going with Stratoblaster->Rat->BB Preamp. It's a bit unconventional, but it works for me. What DIDN'T work for me was the enclosure I had the Stratoblaster in. I just don't like mini-pedals (though the Phase 95 gets a pass because awesome). So, tonight I repackaged the Stratoblaster thusly:



                The green LED is stunningly bright. Next step is to lay out the new pedalboard deck, drill the cable access holes and paint it.
                Tra-la-laa, lala-la-laa!
                Rich Stevens


                "I am using you; am I amusing you?" - Martha Johnson, What People Do For Fun

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                • #9
                  Re: ... and then there were three.

                  I’d go Boost, BB and Rat, because the Rat can get a little fuzzy, and it’s a great hard rock tone.
                  Oh no.....


                  Oh Yeah!

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